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olyclimber

Marc and partner missing in AK

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It sounds like they are still missing, but now being presumed dead?  Have they located bodies?  I'm confused.

I accompanied Marc on one of his failed attempts at Slesse NE Buttress.  I think he was 15 at the time.  We got backed off by snow and cold just below the bivy ledge.  His mom dropped us at the trailhead and fed us lunch when we returned.   Very charismatic and ambitious young man even then.   Its been really cool to see him develop from there into the climber he became.

RIP, Marc.  You left us too soon.

 

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As I understand it, they have called off the search for now.  His father is making the presumption, which speaks to the probabilities.   No parent wants to give up home for their beloved missing child.

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https://dps.alaska.gov/dailydispatch/Home/Display?dateReceived=3/14/2018 12:00:00 AM

Location: Mendenhall Ice Field
Type: Search and Rescue
 

Dispatch Text:

UPDATE: On 3/13/2018, weather cleared and search assets were able to be deployed. The chartered Coastal helicopter, with Juneau Mountain Rescue members on board, was able to reach the north face of the Mendenhall Towers. An intact anchor rope was seen at the top of an ice shoot on the 4th Tower. Two climbing ropes were also seen in a crevasse midway down the 4th Tower. The ropes match the description of the gear carried by Johnson and Leclerc. Due to the circumstances, Johnson and Leclerc are presumed deceased. Due to continuing significant avalanche danger and safety hazards, recovery efforts are not feasible at this time. Next of kin for Johnson and Leclerc have been notified. Missing person files have been entered into the missing persons clearing house for both Johnson and Leclerc.

The Alaska State Troopers would like to thank our search and rescue partners along with businesses and member of the community that donated food and supplies to support the volunteer search personnel.

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Posted (edited)

RIP to Marc. Too young.

Reading what he said reflecting on his Mt. Robson climb, I am reminded of a quote I read from the hermit of north pond, in Maine, a man who lived alone outdoorsfor 27 years, stealing from vacation cabins around a lake nearby to sustain himself. The below quote, you've got a man telling the reporter the secret of being, in a beautifully poetic way, and the interviewer wouldn't know it if he was getting smacked in the face with a cast iron skillet. Anyways, what Marc said about filling the void and existing as an actor to be perceived instead of just being seemed to hit the exact same mark of profundity. 

Quote

Chris became surprisingly introspective. "I did examine myself," he said. "Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free."
That was nice. But still, I pressed on, there must have been some grand insight revealed to him in the wild.
He returned to silence. Whether he was thinking or fuming or both, I couldn’t tell. Though he did arrive at an answer. I felt like some great mystic was about to reveal the Meaning of Life.
"Get enough sleep."

 

Leclerc:

Quote

Of course the journey of learning never ends but I’ve come to believe that the natural world is the greatest teacher of all, and that listening in silence to the universe around you is perhaps the most productive ways of learning. Perhaps it is not much of a surprise, but so often people are afraid of their own thoughts, resorting to drowning them out with constant noise and distraction. Is it a fear of leaning who we actually are that causes this? Perhaps so many of us are afraid to confront our own personalities that we go on living in a world of falseness, filling the void of true contentment by being actors striving to be perceived by the world around us as something that we ‘supposed to be’ rather than living as who we are."

And it didn't take him 27 years cut off from society to recognize this same truth of nature

Edited by Water
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I met him once after I read the TR where he bailed off Slesse and lost all his gear, I sold him a bunch of old cams to restart his rack, nice kid.  Haha his dad was with him and was a hard bargainer. 

One of my favourite all time TRs from CascadeClimbers is his "2 white boys on a big white hill", also liked the one where he soloed Cheam's N Face on his high school grad night.

Sad event but as others have expressed 'live by the sword, die by the sword' right.

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Bumped them both to the top of the BC Forum for your reading pleasure!  And I'm mistaken, he soloed Cheam a week after his high school grad.. shit... I was probably playing Nintendo a week after my grad..

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Damn. Like many, I was hoping for the best but expecting this outcome. Tragic.

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Good read here: https://gripped.com/news/canadian-marc-andre-leclerc-has-passed-away-in-alaska/

I drove through Squamish today on my way up to Whistler and staring at the rainy Chief he was definitely on my mind. I read the news from his dad while taking a break in the lodge and had to put my helmet and goggles on so people didn't see me crying. I'm not surprised this happened, just very sad for his family, friends, and Brette. Not everyone can be an amazing climber, and not everyone can be a great human being. He was both. Rest easy, Marc.

Also thinking of Ryan's little boy. Heartbreaking.

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The two men climbed the north face of what is called the Main Tower, JMR Operations Section Chief Jackie Ebert said. When looking at the Towers from the Brotherhood Bridge (see the attached photo above), this is the second tower from the left. They then descended the ridge between the Main Tower, Ebert explained, moving from left to right as one looks at the Towers from the bridge.

The two men then rappelled down a gulley on the north side near the fourth tower, Ebert said. Their ropes and gear were found in a crevasse in this gulley, she said.

image5861283_web1_towers-cropped.jpg.13e093501b8c43abffdce6dcc41393a8.jpg

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3 hours ago, jon said:

Not everyone can be an amazing climber, and not everyone can be a great human being. He was both. Rest easy, Marc.

Well said, Jon. I am super sad to see things turn out this way. I remember first seeing Marc on here as a kid with a silly banana avatar, who then turned into an alpine superstar. His tick list outlined in the Gripped article is unbelievably impressive. There were clearly more great things to come from him, and this doesn't seem fair. I don't generally get choked up over the loss of climbers I've never met, but this has me crying. I'll just repeat what Jon said: rest easy, Marc. Thanks for showing us what was possible. The next beer is on us.

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I've locked this thread as it was about the two missing climbers and that has been resolved. 

If you'd like to eulogize Marc please use this thread:

I've also split off Blake's remembrance of Ryan Johnson into his own thread:

 

 

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